Mount Wachusett Community College was awarded a $198,400 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Education to continue the North Central Massachusetts College Access Challenge Grant program.
MWCC’s Division of Access & Transition launched the regional program in 2011 under a prior DOE grant. The program provides low-income, minority or first-generation high school students and college freshmen with tools and support services to help them persist and succeed in college.
The partnering schools include: Athol High School; Fitchburg High School; Gardner High School; Leominster High School; the Ralph C. Mahar Regional High School in Orange; Murdock Middle/High School in Winchendon and the Sizer School in Fitchburg.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for students in our region,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. “This initiative continues a successful program that benefits our communities by helping students achieve their goal of completing a college degree.”
As part of the program, current high school seniors receive personal counseling and advising from MWCC advisors; participate in academic, career and financial aid and literacy workshops; are exposed to postsecondary education via college visits and fairs, and the Your Plan for College web portal. Students also participate in a first year experience seminar, pre-college summer bridge program, and ongoing counseling through the first year of college.
Through its Access & Transition division, MWCC serves approximately 4,000 middle and high school students throughout the region through 18 federal and state-funded access and college readiness programs.